One year ago
John Paulson's Paulson & Co. was under fire
after his flagship Advantage Plus fund dropped 21.42% in 2012,
following a terrible 2011 in which the same fund lost 52.48%.
"Oh, the horror!" cried financial journalists everywhere. Could
this truly be the fate of the man who orchestrated "The Greatest Trade Ever"?
But, by last January, some were tired of the dog and pony show. There
are plenty of other investors who managed more money in 2012
and did it better; why not pay them more heed?
A year later, the media circus has continued, but
Paulson & Co. is on much more favorable ground. All of the
firm's funds recorded gains this year-some whopping; the
Paulson Recovery Fund ended the year up 63%. The Paulson
Advantage and Advantage Plus funds generated returns of 33.5%
and 32.38%, respectively. Even the worst of the bunch, the
event-driven Paulson Partners Fund, beat our strategy
benchmark, returning 18.4% compared to 14.51% gains for the
Absolute Return Event Driven Index.
Two of the firm's funds-the merger-arbitrage
focused Paulson International and the event-driven Paulson
Recovery Fund-earned nominations for the 2014 Absolute Return Awards, which are based on
risk-adjusted performance. Paulson & Co. was also nominated
as "Management Firm of the Year" based on the overall
risk-adjusted returns of its stable of funds. Winners will be
announced on February 13 in New York City (details here).
Armel Leslie, a spokesman for Paulson & Co. at
public relations firm WalekPeppercomm, declined to comment.
Five years ago
Greenwich-based Duff Capital Advisors laid off about 80% of its 100-person staff,
adding to layoffs it had made in late 2008. The firm, which
launched near the onset of the financial crisis, had struggled
to raise capital despite founder Phil Duff's pedigree; he was
previously the chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley, the
chief operating officer of Julian Robertson's Tiger Management,
and had founded FrontPoint Partners in 2001. Amid market
turmoil, Duff Capital closed its doors in May 2009, according
to various news reports.
In 2011, Duff resurfaced to launch Massif Partners,
a multi-strategy hedge fund with the goal of building "the next generation asset management firm along the
model pioneered by Phil Duff."
Multiple attempts to reach Massif directly were
unsuccessful. A spokesman for Massif said the firm is still up
and running as a private investment firm.